Roll of Honour

2nd Lieutenant

Robert Hood Brechin

Student

Robert Hood Brechin was born on the 19th July 1895, in Circus Drive, Dennistoun, Glasgow, Lanarkshire. He spent his earliest years in Dennistoun before the family moved to 42 Sherbrooke Avenue, Pollockshields. He was one of eight children, the eldest son of Robert Brechin, a Butcher, and his wife Jane Ivison Brechin (née Armstrong), whom he had married on the 6th January 1887, in Lewes, England. The Brechins were part of a highly successful family butchers’ business dating from 1861. Established by six brothers, it had several branches in Glasgow and Edinburgh by the turn of the century.

Memorial chapel at the University of Glasgow
The Memorial Chapel at the University of Glasgow

Robert was educated at Whitehill Higher Grade School and the High School of Glasgow, where he held the rank of Sergeant in the Officer Training Corps. When he left school in 1912 he went on to Glasgow University to study in the Arts Faculty. In his first year he enrolled in the Ordinary classes of Latin and Greek. In second year, 1913-14, he took classes in Logic, Geography, and Constitutional Law and History. He did not return to complete his degree, however. Among the first to enlist, initially as a Private in the 9th Bn. Highland Light Infantry, he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the 5th Bn. Seaforth Highlanders on the 7th December 1915, and trained with that Regiment at Ripon in Yorkshire until May 1916.

After a period of training in Zeitoun, Cairo, he served with his Regiment in Greece. In August 1916, and now attached to the 1st Bn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, he was stationed in Salonika. The army’s immediate objective in the Struma Valley was to liberate the fortified villages of Karajokois from Bulgarian control. This successful action began on the 30th September. On that day Lieutenant Brechin sustained a fatal gunshot wound to his head while leading his men. He was 21. Lieutenant Robert Hood Brechin is buried at Struma Military Cemetery on the road between Thessaloniki in Greece and Serres in Bulgaria. Robert Hood Brechin is commemorated on the war memorial of the Church of Scotland, Pollockshields and on his family’s headstone in the Glasgow Necropolis.

Comments and Citations

University of Glasgow Registry, Faculty and General Council Records.

Obituary: The High School of Glasgow: the book of Service and Remembrance (Glasgow: Maclehose, Jackson, 1921).

London Gazette, 10th December 1